Human Horizons (HH) had a relatively discreet appearance at the important fair Auto Shanghai Last April. But the models HiPhi X and Z They’re easy on the eyes and are clearly aimed at electric competitors like Tesla, Audi, BMW or Polestar. Not only in China’s domestic market, but also in Europe from end of this year: Starting in Germany, HH aims to explore the European market with its range of electric vehicles, coming from design and development centers in Munich and Oslo.
But what exactly is it? AH And what are your plans for Europe? Although they only presented their first car on the national market 2021, They are already the brand of greater success in the premium electric segment in its country of origin, ahead of manufacturers such as Porsche, Tesla, Mercedes and Audi.
And while the X and Z has just celebrated its debut in Europe, China is, once again, a step forward. “He swhich is a more affordable vehicle with a higher production volume, was launched in China last summer and will reach Europe in early 2024“, Explain Marcos StantonCTO of HH, who spent more than three decades managing brands such as Ford and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), before helping to found the new Chinese brand. In Europe, HiPhi initially attacks the upper segments, which is a ‘salute’ to Tesla.
About GM by HiPhi
“A lot of people said I was crazy when I moved to Human Horizons in 2018“, he admits Stanton“At that time the company had about 50 employees; Today there are more than 5,000 of us and we continue to grow. First, because we are fast and we can speed up decisions and processes in a way that would never be possible at JLR, for example”, explains the Brit. “This was something completely new to me when I got involved in the project.”
The company’s headquarters recently moved from Shanghai to QingDao, mainly for tax reasons, recognize those responsible. There is also production in Yangchengwhich came into operation almost two years ago, where old Kia factory It was completely rebuilt and transformed into a high-tech place under a new banner, where the first step is to produce 50 thousand vehicles per year. “All that remains is the walls of the original structure,” explains Stanton, with evident pride. “At first, the townspeople were skeptical, but now they are completely provided to the project. “Property prices in that area have increased by 30 percent.”
The main production is located in Qingdao, where they will soon be manufactured 120,000 vehicles per yearand where cars like the s sern driven autonomously to the shipping area once completed. If demand increases as expected, production volume can be significantly expanded “without problems”. HH think big.
The best-selling luxury car in China
Expectations are high and Stanton does not hide his optimism: “The HiPhiX quickly established itself as the best-selling luxury electric car in China. Now, for the first time, European customers have the opportunity to discover why these vehicles performed so well neo instant success. This launch in two European markets is the perfect starting point to expand our activities across the continent, with the aim of covering the main European markets until 2027“.
The former JLR executive confirms a philosophy of creating brand value not far from that of pole Star: “From the beginning, we always saw ourselves as a international brand, not just from China.” Funding came from private investors and HH goes to great lengths to carefully identify its potential customers, even though the brand is only two years old. He 76% of all customers come from established brands of the premium segment and the majority spent the equivalent of 100,000 euros in their vehicles. “Half of our customers (who are now driving an electric car for the first time in their lives) did not have the purchase of a new car in their immediate plans, but were impressed with the design and the product itself and ended up buying spontaneously”, explains HH’s CTO. And HH wants to be more than just an electric vehicle manufacturer. As a technology group, there are projects that include connected streets and innovative mobility concepts.
The European headquarters are in Monkwhere the first space was opened HiPhi at the airport, in the former facilities used by its rival Audi, during the dates of the IAA fair, last September. The second of four facilities scheduled to open in 2023 is in Oslowhere, in addition to Tokyo, work is being carried out on new models in design centers. Until 2025 will be created at least twelve branches across Europe. At the same time, it is expanding into Middle East, where six passes They will also receive a HiPhi space for the next two years. The launch of the brand in U.S It is not expected in the near future, as Stanton emphasizes.
Currently there is 75 showrooms and 33 delivery centers in China. Seen from the outside, the success of recent months is surprising: HH has become a leader in the premium electric vehicle segment, with a market share of almost 25%ahead of brands with cache Porsche, BMW, Tesla and Audi.
Unlike many competitors, AH don’t just want to stand out for your electric autonomy, but also for your systems level 3 driving assistance, which in the medium term can be increased up to level 4. In addition to a dozens of cameras, Each vehicle will be equipped with numerous Lidar and radar sensors that avoid collisions by scanning the environment in real time. “We strive to constantly innovate and want to push the boundaries as much as possible. We are inspired by concepts of space and time and draw parallels between science, art, human imagination and sensory experience to create something truly special”, explains Ding Lei, founder of HH. Assuming its high-end status, the the Z model “It’s everything we want to be as a brand and it was designed for people who, like us, are driven by the desire to discover and create”, he adds.
Before founding HH, CEO Ding Lei was the leader of General Motors in China. During the change, in fact, he brought other senior officials from his former North American employer to the new company.